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19.02.2008 General News

Crisis looms over tomatoes importation

By Accra Mail
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There could be a looming tomatoes crisis if a threat to ban the importation of tomatoes was effected.

The threat to ban the importation of tomatoes from Burkina Faso to Ghana was issued at a sitting of the Judicial Committee of the Ga Traditional Council over allegations of malpractices by a faction of tomatoes traders.

The case before the Judicial committee of the Council as narrated by Madam Lydia Afoley Annang, General Secretary of the Ghana Tomato Traders Association was that contrary to laid down procedures and regulations, another association by name Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization (GAPTO) had been opening up branches at random at Agbogbloshie and CMB Markets without authorization.

Madam Annang complained to the Committee that the rival organization had refused to pay the required taxes and levies to government and her Association and their activities has resulted in causing a glut of the vegetable in the entire country.

Madam Annang further alleged that the rival faction and its members went on more trips for tomatoes than the market demands could hold, thus causing unnecessary glut of the vegetable.

Nii Odaifio Welentsi III, Nungua Mantse, who issued the threat on behalf the Committee said if the problem concerning importation continued, the ban could be imposed immediately until the final determination of the case before the Committee.

Other members of the Committee are Nii Ayikai III, Akumadjie Mantse, Nii Dodoo Nsaki II, Otublohum Mantse and Dr Dodoo Acquaye, an elder of the Sempe Stool.

The case was adjourned to Monday February 18, 2008 to enable some key players in the rival Ghana Agricultural Producers and Traders Organization to appear to answer the charges.

Large quantities of tomatoes are imported from Burkina Faso and parts of the Northern Regions to the southern parts of the country for consumption and this caused occasional glut on the market, resulting in financial loses to traders.

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